(JollofNews) – The Gambian community in Birmingham is paying tribute to the five Gambian men who died on Thursday after a huge concrete wall collapsed on top of them at a Birmingham recycling plant.
The 15ft tall wall, made of heavy concrete blocks, came crashing down on the men as they laboured at the Shredmet site in Aston Church Road, Nechells.
A sixth man miraculously managed to escape, digging his own way out of the rubble despite his leg having been broken.
Among the dead was Saibou Sillah, 42, a married father of seven children, including two-year-old twins, from Edgbaston, Almamo Jammeh, 42 and Bangaly Tunkara (Dukureh), and Ousman Jabbie, from Aston, and Mohammed Jagana, a married father-of-one from Winson Green, Birmingham.
Paying tribut to the men, Manka Sawo, a friend of Mr Sillah who visited the scene of the accident told reporters: ‘I knew Saibou from the community centre on Raglan Road – we used to pray there.
‘This is a sad day. They are all from Gambia, some of them had moved to Spain for 15 or 20 years though before coming here.They would come to work by bus. They were all on the minimum wage. Saibou has been in the UK for three years.’
“Saibou had seven children, including two-year-old twins. He was a very, very decent guy. I’m devastated. I heard the news from the man who broke his leg. He phoned his family from hospital, and we came here to find out what had happened. I knew one of the men very closely; yesterday we celebrated Eid together. It’s very, very sad.”
A friend of Almamo and Ousman said: ‘Ousman only moved over here a week ago and moved in with Almamo.
‘He was waiting for his wife and family to come over, who are still in Baddibu No Kunda, North Bank Region of the Gambia.’
“Almamo’s wife and children are due to arrive in the UK on Sunday. They don’t have any phones so there’s no way of contacting them. We will only be able to tell them when they arrive that their husband and father has died. It’s going to leave them heartbroken.”
Meanwhile, Mr Jagana’s devastated friend Mohammed Camara said: “He has a wife and a daughter, who is less than one year old.
His family are praying for him. They are distraught beyond words. He was a good hard-working man and a great friend.”
Ansumana Barrow, president of the Gambian association in Ladywood, said the community was saddened by the news and he knew one of missing.
“We came here to see what’s going on and then we are going to see the family members and see how we can help them. With counselling or whatever they need,” Mr Barrow said.
Meanwhile, two bodies of the five men have been removed from scene as investigations continues.